smallwalls.com
Saturday, April 26, 2003
 
I went to go see Dar Williams play last night with my mom. Getting the tickets themselves was somewhat of a hassle, cause I tried to purchase them through ticketmaster, first on Wednesday and then on Thursday morning. Both times it found seats for me in the balcony, but when I went to actually purchase them I got an error hat told me there was a "Bad Server". Obviously it didn't want me buying those tickets. So on Thursday afternoon at about quarter after 5 when my mom was on her way over from the hotel I tried once more, this time not paying attention to the seats given to me (although choosing the same options as before). This time the transaction goes through and its all good and I have 2 tickets to see Dar Williams with opener The Ben Taylor Band. So Firday evening comes, and we get to the Vic where she is performing. I pick up the ticekts from will call, and we go inside after an exhaustive search of my moms bag. Then we had our tickets to the usher type person, cause it was a seated show, and he beckons "follow me". We walk behind him, and I am a little shocked at first that he doesn't lead us upstairs, but after that wore off, I realized we were still walking on the main floor towards the stage. My mom and I start to look at each other in slight shock and our gazes both say "where are we going". She is worried about falling on the small steps in her heels as we progress even closer to the stage. Finally we make it to the point where we are told, "Yours are the first and second seats". The row of course, was the first one. So my mom and I sit down and start to laugh hysterically, wondering how in the world we managed to get front row seats when the tickets were bought just a day before the event. The first song by Ben was broken often by us brusting out laughing, still shocked at how such a seating arrangement came to be. So from there we settled down to watch the show with every facial expression visible to us, every gesture noticed and every bead of sweat seen. The Ben Taylor Band was really good, and I loved the instrumentals, but I also would have liked to hear his voice a little stronger in some of the songs he sang. He felt overpowered by them sometimes. After his set, I went out to the merchandise table, bough his CD and he signed it to my mom: "Karen, please take a listen, Thanks, Ben". Then it was back inside for Dar's set. She had a full band backing her up this time, which I hadn't ever seen her with. The 3 other times I saw her perform it was always solo with just her and a guitar. The band was a nice addition though, and she sang a number of songs off her new album, as well as many others. She also told her always wonderful stories about the angst of the early 20 something fresh out of college kid who knows they want to do something meaningful with their life but just can't figure it out. Sound familiar? She also told stories about the springtime, and her former tourbus "Red Hooker" (named after the town of Red Hook), and gave a chance for us to name her new and shiny white bus. Lots of suggestions were thrown to her from the audience, and eventually she resorted to telling people to write them down on a piece of paper and spitball them up to her cause people wouldnt stop giving them. She also talked about SELF, which is the Solar Electric Light Fund, a non profit which works on building infrastructure in developing countries, and is shortly going to go to Bhutan to bring solar power to a place which otherwise would need electric lines placed through areas where endangered wildlife, including the black-necked crane, live. As the night went on the theme of the show turned into more of a "traveling" one than the springtime one I think was orignially planned with the help of some audience members requests for some songs. In the encore when Iowa was requested, she started to say that her husband had asked her not to sing it... at which point there were numerous cat calls, so she said to let her continue, and then went on to say ... unless he got some later that night, and encouraged everyone to do the same, at which point she told everyone to hit the bartender up for a few drinks to make it happen. After her final encore which she did solo, she said goodnight, and I bought her Live album, Out There Live. Overall just a wonderful musical experience, so much enhanced by the front row seats. Being able to see every slight smile, and watch the emotions on a performers face just really makes something like that so much better.


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